Imagine you’re holding a thin piece of woven wire, about 2 metres long, with a plastic handle at either end.
Imagine skipping as fast as you can with that piece of wire for three long, excruciating minutes while four people sit counting each time your foot hits the ground.
Imagine having a nasty case of influenza while you’re doing it …
And that’s how my youngest daughter’s Saturday morning kicked off.
It was the NSW/ACT State Skipping Championships and she’d been sick as a dog since last Sunday.
She lay on the couch while I worked from home during the week, asking for endless glasses of water and occasionally noting that she was “dying”.
I probably wasn’t as sympathetic as I should have been because she’s such an upbeat little thing, even when horribly ill, so you don’t take it as seriously as you might if the person was moaning and complaining a lot.
Come Saturday morning her health hadn’t made any real improvement, but she was determined to be at the competition and headed off at 7.15am to get her hair braided and skip her heart out.
Unfortunately, the competition kicked off at 9am with a 30-second speed event and a three-minute speed event, then she spent the whole day rehearsing before her individual routine finally came around at 4pm.
She was completely cactus by then. She stood in front of the judges and the music began and she tried to do her routine. But her body and her brain weren’t on board with her will … and she faltered … and started tripping instead of skipping … and then stood vacantly for an agonising moment or two, so woozy she couldn’t remember her routine. But she struggled on, finished, and tottered out of the hall.
When I found her she was completely devastated, so I hugged her tight, told her how proud I was of her and took her home early, where she lay on the couch again for a few hours before going to bed and coughing up a lung throughout the night.
I woke her at 7am yesterday morning and she told me she felt worse than the day before. But, again, she insisted on heading to the competition – her team wouldn’t be eligible to compete without her – and reluctantly agreed to pop a couple of Nurofen to try and clear a bit of the haze.
Yesterday was even more intense than Saturday – double dutch speed, speed relay, double dutch freestyle (3-person), double dutch freestyle (4-person) and freestyle routine (four person).
My anxiety levels were high. I was worried she’d get bleary and be disappointed again.
Fortunately, I was distracted by her primary school teacher turning up to watch her compete. How freaking awesome is that? We have been very, very fortunate with our primary school teachers. They have all been wonderful humans and incredibly kind and supportive of our kids.
Mrs C stayed for hours, which was waaaaaaay above and beyond the call of duty.
Anyways, the teams’ freestyle routine wasn’t too bad, their speed stuff didn’t go particularly well and one of them popped a knee so they had to pull out of the four-person double dutch freestyle … but … before that teary moment … their three-person double dutch freestyle routine was totally ace.
I was so stoked for them that I almost cried. I was also a bit dizzy from oxygen deprivation from holding my breath for so long.
And they scored a GOLD MEDAL for the routine. Go them!
They won Gold for their three-person double dutch freestyle routine at Nationals last year, but thought it was because a girl in the top team slipped on some water in the hall and broke her foot or her arm (I can’t remember which). But this time there were no last-minute breakages on opposing teams and even though the youngest was dizzy with flu she did a brilliant job.
Their team also got a Bronze medal for its overall performance. Very proud Mama!
Wanna see the winning performance? (The voice you can hear is their coach yelling instructions!)
Here you go …
Next stop Nationals on the Gold Coast in September. I’m not sure my nerves could handle it, so my ex is going with her (he’s also a “presentation” judge now, thanks to me!) and he’ll video it all.